Apr 282017
 
Share Button
Evan Engram, Mississippi Rebels (September 17, 2016)

Evan Engram – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’3”, 234-pound tight end Evan Engram of the University of Mississippi.

SCOUTING REPORT: Engram was a four-year starter at the University of Mississippi. He’s not built like a traditional tight end, more like an H-Back/wide receiver ‘tweener. The strength of Engram’s game is catching the football. He creates mismatches because of his combination of size and athletic ability. Engram is quick and fast. He runs good routes and is a natural pass receiver with a good catch radius. Engram is a vertical threat down the seam of a defense. He also runs well after the catch. Engram is committed to the game and a hard worker. While Engram works hard at his blocking, he lacks the frame to ever be a significant factor as an in-line blocking tight end.

SY’56’s Take: “During the grading process, I thought there was a legit shot Engram would finish atop (the tight end) list. He was close and to be honest, these two (David Njoku and Engram) may be back to back on the overall big board. If Njoku is gone and Engram ends up being the pick, I wouldn’t be disappointed one bit. Engram is essentially a top tier speed WR that weighs 234 pounds. While he is a notch or two below as a blocker from most of these guys, he still got the job done in the SEC against linebackers consistently. In terms of what his role would be long term, think of how the Redskins use Jordan Reed. He has that kind of ability, if not more.”

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)

Reese: Evan Engram, tight end, H-back, Ole Miss. We think that this guy can be a dynamic weapon in our offense. Obviously he has great speed for the position – we think that he can be a matchup nightmare for teams trying to cover him with linebackers and safeties, so he was a guy that we liked a lot. Our coaches liked him a lot and it seems like they can use him in our offense in a lot of different ways and we think that with this addition as a fast receiver down the middle along with some of the other receivers we have, that we can help the offense out some. I will take any questions.

Q: Did you try and trade up for O.J. Howard?

A: No.

Q: Did you try and trade up for anybody?

A: I am not going to talk about – do you want to talk about our pick or not? We are not talking about who we tried to trade up for.

Q: Did you value his big play ability over a tight end that was maybe more well-rounded as a blocker?

A: I don’t think that any of the tight ends block that great in this draft. Most tight ends in these receiving offenses in college these days are not true to what we call, wide, wide type receivers, end of the line guys. Most of these guys are H-back types and we think that he is a tough, hardnosed, H-back type blocker, yeah.

Q: What is his comparison to a Reed or Gronkowski

A: Well, we see him as a weapon. You guys can talk to our coaches. I think Ben will come in here and see you guys a little bit later, but we see him as a weapon and we will take all of the weapons that we can get.

Q: How do you make sense of his skillset when he doesn’t have the blocking aspect?

A: Like I just said, I think that the tight ends that come out of the offenses nowadays, these college offenses, these guys are more H-back type players. He is not a traditional end of the line tight end, but we think that he can do things in the blocking game. He is big, he is fast, he has big hands, he is smart, he will help you on special teams – he is a well-rounded, versatile football player.

Q: You added Brandon Marshall. This guy is similar in size, right?

A: I don’t think Brandon is – what does Brandon weigh? Brandon is a big man, I can tell you that. But this guy, we are calling him a tight end. You guys can call him an H-back, call him whatever you want to call him.

Q: Do you see him as a guy that is going to be in the slot?

A: You guys can talk to Ben about that. We see him as a guy that can line up anywhere at any of the receiver positions, tight end, in the slot, outside – he can line up anywhere.

Q: How do you think the first round played out?

A: Well, it played out just like most first rounds. This draft was a little different because we thought that guys would come off of the board all over the place and it did that. There were a lot of uncertainties about a lot of players with respect to some off the field issues, some injury issues, different issues like most drafts have, but I don’t think that anyone was surprised about anything that happened.

Q: In the media and mock drafts, Engram was a guy that people saw as a second rounder or late first. What do you think was the difference between what you guys saw in him compared to the mock drafts?

A: Well, we liked him because, again, we feel like he is a weapon in the offense. We think that this guy can be a weapon and he is versatile and you can use him in a lot of different ways and our coaches are extremely excited about getting a guy like this in our offense.

Q: Reuben Foster was on the board. Is that a guy that you didn’t target because of his off the field issues?

A: Well, we had (Engram) in a good spot and we picked him and I am not at liberty to talk about what we have working right now. (Foster) is still on the board.

Q: With the receivers that you have, does that help your offensive linemen because you have quick guys that can get open faster?

A: We hope so. We hope that everyone we pick can help our offense in some kind of way, so we feel that this guy can come in and again, you play two-high safety in this league and if you have a guy who can stretch the defense down the middle, we think that is a tremendous weapon for the offense.

Q: You struggled to score points last year. How important was it to get an offensive weapon in this draft early on?

A: Yeah, we are just trying to help the offense any way we can and help our team anyway we can, so that is important for us, just to get a good football player and we think that we got a tremendous football player.

Q: Was this just not a year that you felt an offensive lineman in the first round was going to work?

A: There are some offensive linemen that we think are good football players, but we stay true to our board and we picked the best player that was up there.

Q: How do you think that Evan Engram fits in with your current set of tight ends?

A: That is a good question for Coach McAdoo. We think that he is just a dynamic football player who will help our team. You guys can talk to Coach McAdoo about how they plan on using him, but he has a skillset that you can use him in a lot of different ways and I am sure that coaches will be creative in using him that way.

Q: Do you think he is a guy that will open up the red zone?

A: I think that he opens up a lot of things. We just feel like – Jordan Reed is a good example of a tight end that is hard to handle, one of those undersized tight ends that is hard to handle for linebackers and safeties and this guy is probably cut in that same kind of cloth and this guy is really fast. This is a fast, receiving tight end.

Q: You mentioned the two-high safety look as something that you struggled against last year. Is this pick kind of a response to that?

A: Again, we think he will help us. That is for sure. We think that if you can stretch that two-high safety look with speed down the middle and you have speed on the outside, I think that helps us.

MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)

Q: Was he your top tight end on your board?

A: Maybe.

Q: The way you guys viewed him, was it a situation where you walked in this morning and you thought there would be a pretty good chance that Engram would end up being your guy?

A: We talk about a lot of different scenarios, a lot of different players being in position to take at 23 and he was one of those guys.

Q: Very few tight ends combine blocking and receiving, how do you differentiate between guys who are primarily pass catchers at that position? What separates one ahead of another?

A: Well you have to see their skillset, their speed, their hands, their body control, their routes, their feel for the game, so those are the things you look for in a receiving tight end. Evan lines up a bunch of different places; they used him a lot of different ways, so he just seems to have a natural feel as a receiving tight end.

Q: The size and speed of tight ends these days is a lot different from what it used to be, does this go along with what the Giants’ plan for what the offense will be?

A: You have to ask [Head Coach] Ben [McAdoo] about if he’s a part of the plan, but from a scouting prospective he was a playmaker. He was a versatile playmaker, very athletic guy, clean off the field, and checked all the boxes as far as things we look for in a quality player.

Q: If you look at his numbers, he had a big jump last season. Anything happen?

A: I think they just used him more in the offense. He was a senior, you rarely see seniors anymore, he just grew as a player, he got better, they used him more and I think they both benefited, Ole Miss and Evan.

Q: David Njoku was another tight end that was on the board at the same time, what differentiated the two in your opinion?

A: I won’t talk about Njoku versus what we liked about Evan. What we liked about Evan was his versatility, his feel for the game, his polish, his hands, his route running and his experience. Those were the things that we really liked about him.

Q: Was part of it adding another game breaker, home run hitter type to compliment Odell [Beckham Jr.] and to just give you more explosiveness that way?

A: Anytime you can get somebody who can make first downs and score touchdowns, that helps out the offense. It helps everybody out. The coaches are really excited to add a guy like this. The more weapons you have, the harder you are to defend, and hopefully it will come to fruition like that.

Q: He’s called a tight end. The way football is played now, is he more of a weapon than tight end?

A: He’s not going to line up on the line and just try to drive block people all the time. He’s going to be in the backfield, he’s going to be in the slot, he’s going to be detached. He will be down at the traditional tight end position sometimes as well, but the way Ole Miss used him he could line up at four or five different positions. He has that versatility, he has the smarts to do that, so I would envision that we would use him in a similar fashion because that’s a benefit that he has.

Q: Do you see any Jordan Reed in him, [SVP & GM] Jerry [Reese] mentioned him.

A: You can see the similarities, he’s [Evan] an inch taller, Jordan was 10 pounds heavier, this guy ran a lot faster, but the way they were used, yes, very similar.

Q: Did you time him yourself?

A: Evan? No, I let my scouts do it. I just write it down and chart it. I’m too old for that.

Q: Is his speed comparable to some receivers?

A: Yes, besides John Ross, he was one of the fastest guys as far as a receiver or tight end. He might have been the second fastest guy. The receivers that were taken in the top ten, one [Corey Davis] didn’t work out and he ran faster than the other one [Mike Williams]. He was about the second fastest guy as far as the skill positions on offense.

Q: [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] Spags calls it basketball on grass sometimes, do you guys in the personnel department look at the tight end position maybe a little bit differently now? Do you have to do that because of the way the game is played?

A: Yeah, you just don’t see it anymore, traditional tight ends in college. It’s rare to actually see a guy line up and do that. The way the game is played in college, it’s spread out and they’re catching the ball and just chucking it around sometimes. I think we’ll see more and more of these guys if they have the athletic ability, the feel, the smarts, all that stuff that you do.

Q: Do you find is unusual to see two or three tight ends taken in the 1st round?

A: No, nothing surprises me. Going through the process, you knew who the good players were and you had a good idea of where they were going to go, so it didn’t surprise me.

Q: You signed Rhett Ellison before this, is that a good complement? First a guy who can block and now this a guy…?

A: Seems to be. In theory, yes, it looks like that. Hopefully it plays out that way.

Q: Did his 40 time open your eyes even more than they had been with him?

A: Yeah, he was fast, but nobody expects the guy to run 4.42 at that size. You just never would’ve thought that. You think the guy would run a 4.5, 4.6, or something like that, but for a guy to jump out there and run a 4.42, it was shocking. It didn’t push him up on the board anymore, it didn’t change the perspective, the reports were in with what he could do with his skillset and that just added another positive value to his profile.

Q: Can he line up on the edge and drive guys, like a traditional tight end?

A: We’ll see.

Q: What was your impression with the way the first round played out in general?

A: You go in the draft and you always expect the unexpected and right from the start, there were some unexpected things that happened and you don’t know what it is but you just wait for it to happen and it did. 32 draft boards, 32 teams, they got it all different.

Q: The offensive line crop was historically shallow based on the number of players picked in the first round, did that kind of match up with your evaluation of that class coming into the draft?

A: We had some guys we liked, we had some guys we didn’t like and we’ll see.

Q: Not to hammer home the Jordan Reed thing, but when you have a player and you go against a player and you see how difficult it is to defend against that profile, does that add…?

A: You always draw comparisons when you play a guy. DeSean Jackson leaves Philadelphia and goes to Washington, aww man, come on. So, of course, when you play against a guy twice a year, it’s more on your mind, but you don’t look and say we need to get that kind of guy. It’s just when you’re talking about the process, you bring up the comparison.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO: (Video)

McAdoo: Excited to add Evan Engram to the mix. Talented player out of Ole Miss. Length, speed, playmaker, special teams contributor. We’re excited to add him to the mix and hit the ground running with him.

Q: He has drawn comparisons to Jordan Reed, a big tight end/receiver type. Do you envision him to be that kind of player that can play multiple positions within the offense?

A: Yes. He played multiple positions at Ole Miss. I think we can bring him up and move him around a little bit. He needs to play special teams out of the gate and move him into our offense to see what he can handle. Push him that way.

Q: Where do you think he is as a blocker?

A: I think he’s a willing striker. We need to refine his fundamentals. He does what he’s asked to do in their offense and does it well at a high level. We have some things that we’re going to have to work on with him.

Q: Does he have that competitive nature?

A: Yes, he’s a competitor.

Q: Is he more of a slot weapon to you as opposed to a guy that’s going to be in line with bodies?

A: Again, we’ll get him here and play with him in a variety of ways but he’ll play with his hand on the ground.

Q: Because of that flexibility, what does that do for you as a play caller?

A: The fastest way to the end zone is down the middle of the field. Anytime you can add someone to your offense that can run down the middle of the field with that type of speed and length, it stresses the defense.

Q: The consensus was that the top TE in the draft went a few picks before you. Was there any thought in your mind to try and push to go get him?

A: I’m not going to talk about any of those strategies.

Q: Do you feel that Engram can make an impact in the run game?

A: Yes.

Q: How much contact, if any, did you have with him during the pre-draft process?

A: Limited.

Q: How surprised were you entering today that this is the way it turned out?

A: Nothing surprises you. You just go in and take it one pick at a time. See who’s on the board, a top guy on the board. You have to be confident. It’s all about doing the work going into the process. Trusting what you do, trusting your work, trusting the group, trusting the room.

Q: Did you like that Foster was there? Were there two or three guys you were looking at that were still available.

A: I think there were a lot of good players still left on the board.

Q: Does Engram have good yards after catch ability?

A: I think he’s a threat after the catch, yes.

Q: Did you see him as the best player available there or was he the best player for the need?

A: I saw him as the best available player.

Q: How much did you look at him before the draft?

A: I spent a lot of time on him. Just like a lot of scouts, other coaches and personnel people. I spent a lot of time.

Q: What was it that stuck out to you when watching him?

A: I think he’s a guy that’s played multiple positions. He has special teams versatility. He has some snap to him, snap to his body as a blocker. He’s willing as a blocker. Again, the speed just jumps off the tape. The yards after a catch just jumps off the tape at you.

Q: How does he fit in with the current set of tight ends you have now?

A: We’re going to put him in the room, teach him the offense and get on down the road. Again, we’re just adding another player to the mix. A good player that has a lot of potential.

Q: In going to Ole Miss, does he know Eli?

A: That’s a better question for Eli.

Q: With the addition of him, Marshall and Ellison, how much versatility does that give you going into next season?

A: We’re very happy with the players we’ve added to the tight end room and very happy with the players we have in the tight end room. It does give us some versatility and some flexibility. We need to get them all together. We haven’t hit the field yet; we need to hit the field.

MEDIA Q&A WITH EVAN ENGRAM:

Q: How does it feel?

A: I can’t put it into words. Honestly, I dreamed of playing for a couple of teams. I had it in my mind and New York was at the top. This is an amazing feeling. I’m so blessed. I can’t even find the words to describe it. I’m just very thankful and blessed to be a part of just this night. I have my family and friends. It’s a real blessing. I feel really blessed.

Q: Were you surprised when you got the call from the Giants?

A: I sat here and I saw it was Miami the pick before and New York just a little bit above it. I was just like, alright let’s see, Miami could call and New York could call. As soon as the Miami pick went in, I got the call. I saw the city under the number and I knew it. I wasn’t expecting it. I felt that it was coming but it was just, I was kind of surprised by it but I felt it in my dreams.

Q: Do you feel you are ready to come in and make an immediate impact?

A: I know I’m ready to come in and make an immediate impact. I know for a fact. I’ve been watching the Giants, they’re on TV all the time. I sit down and watch them, especially this past year. I’ve been really analyzing teams and certain offenses. The Giants have been missing a piece like me. They have a great quarterback and I think Tye, 45, was great for them. I felt that I could be another more dynamic piece at that role. I just always felt that they would look at a guy like me to come in and contribute. I know my skillset. I’m confident in my game and how hard I work. Just the weapons around me, I can’t wait to come in and contribute. Learn from all those guys and take advantage of the opportunity to be a great player for this team.

Q: Being a fellow Ole Miss alum, has Eli Manning reached out to you before or after this process?

A: No, I haven’t talked to him before. He texted me after they announced it and everything. He told me to enjoy the moment and that he’s looking forward to getting to work with me. I just told him thank you. He said he’ll be in contact to catch up in a couple of days. He hit me up after the pick went in.

Q: Have you ever met him?

A: Yes. He’s always around Ole Miss in the offseason. There’s been a couple of times I’ve caught a couple of balls for him. Just servicing him and running some routes that he needed. It kind of manifested in those moments I guess, this moment right here. I can’t wait to play with him, learn from him and just be a great player for this team.

Q: All along did you expect to be a first-round pick?

A: I knew I deserved to be and I knew I should be. It’s just what I bring to the table. I’m so dynamic and so confident in myself. I’m not trying to be cocky or anything because that’s 100 percent not it. I’m just really confident in what I can bring to a team. I definitely believe that I should’ve gotten a call in the first round and that someone was getting one of the most dynamic players and best players in the draft. I knew that I should be and I was just praying that I was. I came back for my senior year and that was one of my goals to solidify a first round pick. God has led me through all of this and to hear that tonight with the New York Giants, I knew that it was going to happen, I knew it should happen and I’m blessed that it did.

Q: Do you feel you can be effective in the slot or at wide receiver?

A: Yes. I feel like I can be a threat anywhere. I definitely have a lot to learn. Being out wide, I didn’t do it as much in college so I’m definitely ready to learn more about that, but in the slot, attached, in the backfield I feel like I can be a threat anywhere. I can’t wait to just get in there, learn, work and earn my way up into the offense and into making plays. Yes, I know I think I can be a threat anywhere around the ball.

Q: Do you create mismatch problems for the defense?

A: Yes, I guess from a coach’s standpoint, they love to move me around to make those mismatches. I know that my coaches at Ole Miss did and I kind of get excited when I see some big linebacker that is trying to man me up or some big safeties with bad hips – I just get excited when I see those guys trying to man me up. I do feel like I am a mismatch problem and I guess I am a huge plus for an offensive coordinator to have.

Q: You played in the SEC, which is regarded by many as the best conference in the country. How do you think playing in the conference prepared you for the NFL?

A: Man, look at the numbers that the SEC puts into the league. We are playing the best players in the country every week and just game planning for that, practicing for that and competing with that, it definitely helps us translate to the NFL. Just look at the numbers and it proves it. So just playing the likes of LSU and the Bama’s and the Arkansas’ and Auburn’s and Georgia’s and there are just so many athletes and so many talents make their way to the league from those schools – it definitely gives me an advantage going into the league and playing some more against some of the best athletes in the world.

Q: Where are you right now and who are you watching the draft with?

A: I am in my hometown, Powder Springs, Georgia, with all of my best friends, my family, people who have helped me get to this point, and it was tough because I got invited to the draft and I was torn because I wasn’t sure if I was going first round and that was the only way I wanted to go, so I decided to stay home. I couldn’t be more excited just being around my people and where everything started, it is just a huge moment. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change one thing.

Q: You have gotten some comparisons to Jordan Reed of Washington. How does that make you feel?

A: I have been looking up to him for so long. He was such a huge talent at Florida that I didn’t think got used enough, so when he got to Washington and got used to his abilities, he has been doing such great things in the league. So just watching him and studying him and I would love to work with him some day because he is such a threat, so savvy with his routes and so precise and he gets physical after the catch. Being compared to that is what I want. I want to be better than him, but that is going to be a tough task. But being compared to him and being able to bring to the table what he does for a team like the Giants is a blessing.

Q: How much contact did you have with the Giants during the pre-draft process?

A: Honestly, not that much. I talked to them at the Senior Bowl briefly; I talked with them at the Combine. I didn’t have any visits with them; no workouts and it just really came out of nowhere. I kind of felt myself being a threat there and being a possibility there, but it really came out of nowhere. I didn’t talk to them as much, but I kind of felt that they had their eye on me, so I guess it worked out.

Apr 252017
 
Share Button
LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (January 1, 2017)

LeGarrette Blount – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – GIANTS INTERESTED IN LEGARRETTE BLOUNT…
The NFL Network is reporting that there is “mutual interest” between the New York Giants and unrestricted free agent running back LeGarrette Blount (New England Patriots).

The 30-year old Blount was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft. Blount has spent time with the Titans (2010), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-2012), New England Patriots (2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2014), and Patriots again (2014-2016). Blount is a big (6’2”, 250 pound), between-the-tackles power runner. He had a his best season in 2016, carrying the ball 299 times for 1,161 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns in 16 regular-season games. Blount only has 46 career receptions.

ARTICLES…

Apr 242017
 
Share Button
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (December 22, 2016)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS PICKING UP OPTION ON ODELL BECKHAM, JR…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants will pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.’s rookie contract. That means that Beckham will not become a free agent until after the 2018 NFL season. Beckham will earn $1,839,027 in salary in 2017 ($3,311,063 overall cap hit, including prorated signing bonus), but will now see his salary spike to about $8,000,000 in 2018.

Beckham is one of the game’s best players and had another stellar season in his third year, starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his first three seasons, Beckham has accrued 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in 43 regular-season games. Beckham’s accolades already include Pro Football Writers of America “Rookie of the Year” (2014), second-team All-Pro (2015, 2016), and Pro Bowl (2014, 2015, 2016). All of this despite constant double teams by opposing defenses.

ARTICLES…

Apr 202017
 
Share Button
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (September 25, 2014)

© USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 2017 SCHEDULE RELEASED…
The New York Giants 2017 regular-season schedule has been released. The schedule currently includes four prime time games – two on Sunday night, one on Monday, and a Thanksgiving game (their first since 2009). The Giants will play at night three times in their first six games, twice on the road. Additional night games could be added later in the season under the NFL’s flex scheduling guidelines.

For the fifth time in six years and the third year in a row, the Giants will begin their season against the Cowboys. It is also the team’s fifth consecutive road opener. The Giants will play six games against 2016 playoff teams: Dallas, Seattle, Detroit, and Kansas City at home; and Dallas and Oakland on the road.

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10 – at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 2: Monday, Sept. 18 – vs. Detroit Lions, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24 – at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:05 p.m.
  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8 – vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15 – at Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m.*
  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22 – vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.*
  • Week 8: BYE WEEK
  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5 – vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12 – at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m.*
  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23 – at Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m.
  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3 – at Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m.*
  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10 – vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.*
  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m.*
  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24 – at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m.
  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31 – vs. Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m.*

* Subject to flexible scheduling.

“We open up in Dallas on a Sunday night, which will be a big game in the division,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “It will make training camp exciting and interesting for the players. They know we’ll have to be at our best on September 10.

“I know we have three of our first four on the road, but you can only handle them one at a time. Right now, all we have to do is focus on Dallas. We’re getting ready yesterday.

“The middle of the season is a good time for the bye. But it depends on how things shake out with the health of your football team. But being in the middle of the season is generally a good proposition.

“I think it times up interestingly in the schedule, at Washington on a Thursday night, Thanksgiving, then we get to travel to Oakland the next week. We’ll be coming off a physical game at home vs. Kansas City. You have Washington, a familiar opponent, on Thanksgiving night, and two uncommon opponents that sandwich it. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.”

The Giants will have four long trips – Denver, San Francisco, Oakland, and Arizona – in their final 11 games. “We’ll be okay. We’ll make the best of that situation,” McAdoo said. “We have the trips spread out. No concerns there…  You like to have a little breathing room there to make sure the players have a chance to spend some time at home as well as on the road. It’s good to space those things out a little bit.

“The end of the season, the way the league has it shaking out, is going to be exciting for us. We have four NFC teams in the last four weeks, (including) three division games at home. It’s great to be at home in December. You have to be playing good football there in December.”

The preseason schedule has also been finalized. For details, see the Schedule section of the website.

Apr 202017
 
Share Button
Jerry Reese, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE’S PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

Reese: Good afternoon. It is draft time again. The scouts are very excited about their game day. Marc Ross and Chris Mara and all of our scouts, Kevin Abrams, all those guys are in our draft room trying to finalize our draft board and get ready for the big day. So I am ready for any questions that you guys might have.

Q: Who have you decided on?

A: We decided that we are going to take our pick at 23.

Q: Has what you have done in free agency given you some flexibility with what you can do in the draft?

A: Well, you always take that into consideration with what you have on your roster right now, but going into the draft, like I say every year, we just go in there trying to pick the best players available when we are on the clock and we will continue to use that pattern.

Q: I don’t think you have ever traded in the first round. Is there a reason for that and what is your philosophy?

A: If we have an opportunity to trade in the first round, we will do that. But right now, we will just kind of let the board fall like it does and if we feel like we want to move up to get somebody, then we will move. It costs to move up, though. If you are going to move up, then you are going to give up a lot of draft picks to move up. Even if you move up just a couple of spots, you have to give up some draft picks to do that and we like taking our picks, but if there is somebody up there that we love and we think we can move up to get, then we will keep those options open.

Q: Do you still feel like you need some help on the offensive line, whether that is early or late in the draft?

A: We feel like we can use help anywhere, at any position. We just want to create a lot of competition at every position going into the training camp, so we are going to try and upgrade at every position like we always do and offensive line is definitely a spot that we would like to upgrade as well.

Q: When you go back and look at where things stood at the combine to now, has there been that much movement as far as guys surprising you?

A: Our scouts are on top of all of these guys. At the combine, a lot of people are just now learning about these guys, but our scouts already know these people, so we don’t have a lot of surprises. Every now and then you have a couple surprises, a guy could jump up quickly out of nowhere and you have to do some extra work on him, but for the most part we don’t have a lot of surprises going into the draft.

Q: How much do you weigh what they did in college versus this three to four month process?

A: Yeah, we try to put it all together. We look at what the players do on the field. We grade the players on the field. The gymnastics stuff that they do during the combine is part of the equation, but we look at these guys as football players first and we just go on our experience as scouts and try to look at the player more than what the gymnastic numbers say. But that is part of the equation as well.

Q: D.J. Fluker is a guy who came in with 1st round pedigree. Is he someone that you think still has that potential?

A: Well, we hope so. D.J. is going to come in and battle for a position just like everyone else on the squad and hopefully the change of address and just a new scene for him will re-energize him and I know he wants to prove that he is still a number one type talent and we are looking forward to giving him the opportunity.

Q: Do you see him as better at guard or tackle?

A: Yeah, coming out, we thought he could play both. We thought that he had some versatility. We thought he could play tackle, we thought he could play guard. I think he is going to get an opportunity. I am not the coach, Coach McAdoo will make the decision of where he plays, but we think he has some versatility to play guard or tackle.

Q: At the end of last season, you spoke about considering a position change for Ereck Flowers. At this point, do you see him as the left tackle?

A: Again, it is spring and it is a long time before we play. In the spring we will experiment with different lineups and situations with our offensive line, so it is a long way to go. That is to be determined later by Ben and the coaching staff, but we will tinker with a lot of things in the spring.

Q: Despite always looking for the best available player, when you look at last season, there clearly has to be some areas that you need more help.

A: Of course. You are always trying to tie best player available with what our needs are.

Q: Do you ever do that?

A: We do it a lot. Sometimes it falls that way as this is the best player available and also ties into value and need as well. We try to tie them both together, but we are not going to reach for guys just because we think it is a need position for us.

Q: Does that tie into the cost of moving up?

A: Yeah, all of it ties into the cost of moving up.

Q: You have been in a lot of drafts. Last year there were two guys that you liked a lot that teams traded up in front of you to get. Does that make you more aggressive this year so that that won’t happen again?

A: We liked all the players that got picked in front of us last year. You are saying there were two guys, but there were a lot of guys we liked in front of us. So are you going to move up every time just because you like somebody? You pick where you are for a reason. We are at 23. We had a decent season, so we are picking farther back in the draft. If you don’t play well, then you pick up front. But again, if there is someone up there that we love, that we have to have and we are dying for and we are willing to give up our draft picks to move up to get him, then we are open to doing that.

Q: Does it get muddy when you are looking at guys who are potential late 1st round and early second round picks?

A: You never know. You never know how the players are going to come off of the board. You look at this draft and you have five or six blue chip players and then you have the second level of your first round guys and you never know how they are going to come off. Some people may see them a little different than how we like them. When you are picking later in the draft, you just kind of have to sit and wait and let somebody just start to fall and you are like, ‘Let’s move up and get this guy if we really love him that much.’ But again, if you do that, then you are going to give up draft picks and we don’t like to do that.

Q: Do you have 23 names in your first row?

A: We have 32 names in the first row. That is why we call them rows. They are not all first round picks, but they are in the first row.

Q: How many players have a draftable grade on your board?

A: I am not going to talk about how many players have draftable grades, guys.

Q: Do you consider the depth chart as one of the tools in your decision-making?

A: We are just picking the best players available. We have players on our board, we have all of our players on our team currently on the board as well to see how they fit, but we are just trying to pick the best player available when we are on the clock.

Q: With Johnathan Hankins going to the Colts, how do you rate defensive tackle in terms of depth and potential need?

A: We think that, obviously, Snacks is a good player there. We have Bromley, we have Robert (Thomas), so we have a couple more guys that we expect to step up and help fill that void and obviously we will continue to look at free agency and we will look in the draft to see if we can add some depth to that position too.

Q: Were you surprised that Hankins left?

A: No, I am never surprised about anything during free agency. Money talks and we are happy for Hank. We are big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.

Q: In 2007, your draft led to a Super Bowl title. Do you look at this year’s crop and this draft in general as something that can be a key component in building a championship team this year?

A: We hope so. We hope that the kids that we draft in this draft will help supplement the needs that we have on the roster and hopefully we can get some players in here out of this draft that can help us get over the top.

Q: You said at the end of the year that Eli was on the back nine of his career. How did you go about looking at quarterbacks this year? Was it any different from the past?

A: Not really. We evaluate everybody the same every year, regardless of what we are looking for and what we think we need and where we think the depth should come from. We are giving everybody a fair assessment as we go through all the players and we grade everyone the same, whether you are from a big school, a small school, if you are short or if you are tall, it doesn’t matter. We give everyone the same degree of consideration.

Q: Did you find yourself looking more at quarterbacks this year?

A: Myself personally? I probably looked at more quarterbacks this time then I did at other times, but there are only so many guys that you can look at. You can ask Marc Ross about anybody from any school and he can tell you in two seconds because he sees all the players and evaluates all of them. Obviously it is hard for me to evaluate every single player.

Q: When you are looking for the successor for Eli, is Geno (Smith) a candidate?

A: Well, Geno is on the roster and is going to have a fair share to compete just like everyone else. He is excited about being here and we are excited to have him and he is going to come in and compete just like everybody else, so we will see where that goes.

Q: Have you decided if you are going to exercise the fifth-year option on Odell?

A: We are going to discuss that when the time gets closer. We will keep all of our options open with respect to that.

Q: You had some critical comments about him at the end of the season. How do you think he has responded to that?

A: You guys called it critical. I don’t think it was critical. I think some of you guys framed it as critical, but I didn’t see it that way.

Q: Critiqued maybe. How do you think he responded to the general message?

A: Again, I think he is a guy that hears what we are saying and like John (Mara) said, ‘We are not worried about Odell.’ He is a young kid, he is growing up every day and we think that he is going to continue being a tremendous football player and a tremendous representative of our organization here.

Q: At the owners meeting, Ben McAdoo said that Geno compares favorably to the quarterbacks in this class. Does that change what you guys might do next week at quarterback?

A: No.

Q: How do you personally evaluate this team’s draft performance over the last three or four years?

A: It is not my job to do that. You guys can do that. We go in every year and do our best to draft the best players available and try to develop the kids that we get on the roster, so if you win, it is a good draft and if you don’t win, then it is a bad draft. You guys can evaluate that. I am not here to talk about how we are evaluating what the drafts are.

Q: If you take a quarterback next week, I am sure that you hope he doesn’t play soon, but how do you weigh taking a pick higher in the draft that is going to be a developmental guy?

A: Again, you just take the best player available and however he fits on roster – if you take a quarterback high, if you take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him, you hope that everything falls right for them. If they have to play, you hope it is the right time for them to play. But if you are worrying about when is he going to play, when is he not going play, you might miss out on the right player. You just have to take the best player available.

Q: Isn’t quarterback different though?

A: Yeah, but again, everyone has to get picked somewhere. Last year Prescott got picked and people didn’t regard him highly and he played tremendous. He was at the right place at the right time, got the right opportunity and he did a very nice job for them.

Q: Would you rule out drafting a first round quarterback?

A: We will keep all of our options open.

Q: If you draft a quarterback this year, do you think they will need two or three years to sit and develop behind Eli?

A: Again, who knows what will happen. If you draft a quarterback in the first or second round, if Eli gets hurt and we don’t have a quarterback that is ready to go and you have a quarterback on the roster, you have to get them ready to play. That is the coaches’ job to do that, it is our job to have somebody waiting in the wings to play, so you just never know. We think that Eli has some good years left to play for us and we are trying to put good people around him as well and hopefully the offense can pick up the pace more than last year.

Q: Do you agree with the consensus that the quarterbacks in this class all could use time to sit and develop?

A: That is what you say every year. It is hard to bring guys right out of college, and to play up here is such a different game and the college game is a lot different now, so it is hard for guys to just jump in and play up here right away. But we have seen guys do it, but I think you have to limit what they do and you can’t give them everything at the beginning.

Q: As you personally look at this draft of quarterbacks, where is your determining factor on if a certain player can be your guy for the future?

A: Well, again, we look at what their skillset is and we look at what we like to do and see how many guys have that skillset and what part of the draft can they be possible picks for us if we decide to pick one.

Q: What is Ben’s involvement in the draft process?

A: Just like always, all of our coaches are part of the process and everyone has an opinion on who we take, so he is a big part of it, like every coach has been here.

Q: But you have the final decision?

A: It is our decision. If it doesn’t work out, then it is my decision.

Q: Have you ever looked back at a draft pick and admitted to no one but yourself that you made a mistake?

A: Plenty of times. You don’t get all of them right. I don’t think anyone is batting 1.000 picking players. But yeah, plenty of times.

Q: How do you factor age into drafting players?

A: That is not a big issue for us. If a guy is 24 or 25, that is still super young.

Q: How has the role of the tight end changed since this team picked one in the first round with Shockey?

A: I think it is whatever your offensive coordinator is, what your head coach’s philosophy is, and I think that is what determines what your tight end role is. You look at different teams and tight ends are a big part of what they do and you look at us and we haven’t been a two tight end kind of offense under Ben. But we do feel like a tight end could come in and help us. We brought (Rhett) Ellison in to be part of that equation of helping the run game, and I think he is a very capable receiving as well, so there are some good tight ends in the draft, we believe. I like a lot of different positions, but it just depends on what the offensive coordinator thinks and how much he wants to use a tight end.

Q: Have you not used that aspect of Ben’s offense because of the personnel here?

A: You can ask Ben about that. I think that the best coaches make an adjustment to really what your personnel is and I think that is part of being a coach. You don’t always have the perfect pieces to what you want and you have to make the adjustment and I think the best coaches do that.

Q: What is the challenge in evaluating players that are multi-dimensional? Guys like Jabrill Peppers and Christian McCaffery.

A: Well, it is not the challenge, I think that when you get a player that has a skillset like McCaffery and maybe Peppers, these guys do a lot of different things for their team and you can save yourself a roster spot more than anything else. If you get a guy like that, then maybe you don’t have to go out and get a return specialist or…obviously both those guys would be tremendous on special teams, so they can do a lot of things. But to their defense a little bit, I think they get hurt a little bit because they play so many different positions and people say, ‘Well, what does this guy do?’ I think that maybe devalues them a little bit. But we like guys with a lot of versatility and those are two good players.

Q: The mock drafts say that the Giants have to take an offensive lineman at 23. To that, you would say?

A: I would say that we are going to pick the best player available.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

GIANTS INSIDER WITH RB PAUL PERKINS…
The video of a Giants Insider Q&A with running back Paul Perkins is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

Apr 182017
 
Share Button
Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (August 27, 2016)

Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS OFFSEASON PROGRAM BEGINS…
The New York Giants offseason program began on Tuesday, kicking off the 9-week “voluntary” program that by NFL rules is broken into three phases:

  • Phase One (Two Weeks): Consists of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  • Phase Two (Three Weeks): Consists of on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  • Phase Three (Four Weeks): Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The team’s OTAs will be held on May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, and June 8-9. A mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 13-15.

KERRY WYNN SIGNS TENDER…
New York Giants restricted free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn has signed his 1-year, $1.797 million tender. Wynn was the only Giants restricted free agent who was tendered. (Running back Orleans Darkwa was not tendered but re-signed). Wynn visited the New England Patriots last week.

Wynn saw his playing time decrease in 2016 (11 percent of defensive snaps). He played in 14 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 34 regular-season games, with seven starts, for the Giants in his three years with the team. Wynn has a nice combination of size, strength, and overall athletic ability. Wynn is a better run defender than pass rusher as he lacks dynamic quickness on the outside pass rush. He is able to play defensive tackle in pass-rush situations.

ARTICLES…

Apr 142017
 
Share Button
Jared Odrick, Jacksonville Jaguars (December 13, 2015)

Jared Odrick – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INTERESTED IN JARED ODRICK…
ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in free agent defensive tackle Jared Odrick. The Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles are also supposedly interested in his services.

The 29-year old Odrick was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in March 2015. The Jaguars cut him in February 2017. Odrick has played in 87 regular season games with 63 starts. After not missing a game in five seasons, Odrick missed 10 games in 2016 with a shoulder injury. Odrick is big, tall lineman who can play both tackle and end. He has nice combination of quickness and power. He flashes at times on the pass rush with 23 career sacks.

 

 

Apr 142017
 
Share Button
Kerry Wynn, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Kerry Wynn – © USA TODAY Sports Images

KERRY WYNN VISITS THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS…
New York Giants restricted free agent defensive end Kerry Wynn visited the New England Patriots on Wednesday. Wynn received an original-round tender (1-year, $1.797 million) from the Giants before free agency began, meaning that the Giants have the right to match any offer from another team. But since Wynn was an undrafted rookie free agent, the Giants would receive no compensatory pick for losing Wynn if they chose not to match the offer.

Wynn saw his playing time decrease in 2016 (11 percent of defensive snaps). He played in 14 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 34 regular-season games, with seven starts, for the Giants in his three years with the team. Wynn has a nice combination of size, strength, and overall athletic ability. Wynn is a better run defender than pass rusher as he lacks dynamic quickness on the outside pass rush. He is able to play defensive tackle in pass-rush situations.

ARTICLES…

Apr 132017
 
Share Button
Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Johnathan Hankins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS SIGN JOHNATHAN HANKINS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins has signed with the Indianapolis Colts. ESPN is reporting that the contract is a 3-year, $30 million deal that includes $14.5 million in guaranteed money.

The New York Post reported on Wednesday that the New York Giants offered Hankins a 4-year, $28 million contract when free agency began and that offer remained on the table. The Post also reported that Hankins was originally seeking a contract that would pay him $15 million per season, and later reduced his asking price to $10 million per season.

Hankins started every game and finished the 2016 regular season with 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins has excellent size, strength, and overall athleticism. He is a stout run defender who occasionally flashes on the pass rush.

The Giants are currently very thin at defensive tackle with only three players on the roster: Damon Harrison, Jay Bromley, and Robert Thomas.

Apr 122017
 
Share Button
Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

Johnathan Hankins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

JOHNATHAN HANKINS VISITS THE COLTS…
New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins visited the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday. The Giants and Hankins have been at a contract impasse since free agency began in early March. The Giants would very much like to re-sign him, but his asking price has been too rich for the team.

Hankins started every game and finished the 2016 regular season with 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins has excellent size, strength, and overall athleticism. He is a stout run defender who occasionally flashes on the pass rush.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRESEASON OPPONENTS ANNOUNCED…
The New York Giants 2017 preseason opponents have been announced. Specific dates and times for three of the opponents have not yet been released.

  • August 10-14: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Monday, August 21: at Cleveland Browns (8:00PM)
  • August 24-27: New York Jets
  • August 31-September 1: at New England Patriots

ARTICLES…